Naturalist’s Notebook: Tent Caterpillar Update and a Spring Butterfly


A few blog posts ago, I talked about tent caterpillars. At that time, the tent was very small, and the caterpillars were really tiny. They’ve been eating well and are now over an inch long and about half-grown. Their tent has been added to as they have grown and is now much bigger, too.

The caterpillars hid in their tent most of the time at first. Now they are getting more active, crawling up and down branches in search of their next meal of wild cherry leaves. I’ve included some photos from yesterday afternoon.

In the spring, things can change quite a bit in one day. The great thing about keeping a nature journal is that you can keep up with animals and plants in your yard as they grow. You’ll want to revisit both of them several times to observe the changes.

As I walked around my yard today, I found another sign of spring. A small blue butterfly landed nearby. It was the well-named “Spring Azure”, one of the earliest butterflies I see each spring. I got lucky. It sat still long enough for me to get several good photos with my cell phone. I included one with this post.

They always land with their wings closed, just like in the photo. If you spot one, they are about the size of a dime.

It is interesting that it showed up today because my wife had just pointed out that the flowering white Dogwood trees in our woods are just starting to bloom. Spring Azure caterpillars eat Dogwood blooms.

I didn’t have to walk far to find a bloom to photograph. I’m sure that many of you are seeing Dogwoods blooming right now. Be on the lookout for the Spring Azure!

I hope you are looking for things in your yard or neighborhood to include in your nature journal.

Mr. Bill





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